One of the PBA’s rare behemoths, even June Mar Fajardo was dwarfed by the presence of Nigerians in Gilas Pilipinas’ evening practice at Meralco Gym on Monday.
“They’re so big,” he quipped.
The Cebuano slotman and the rest of the national team were subjected to another tough session against these five foreigners led by former Ateneo big man Chibueze Ikeh.
From 5-foot-11 Jayson Castro to the 6-foot-11 Fajardo, the Nationals tried to execute their offense against the towering Nigerian bigs in hopes of mimicking what they can expect in their anticipated draw against Australia in three weeks.
The four-time PBA MVP, who is used to defending taller reinforcements in the pro league, feels that this is the kind of training that would prove beneficial for the squad.
“They’re a big help for us. They help us plan for our game against Australia because they’re big and strong,” he said.
Not that he’s expecting anything less as Fajardo knows how tall the task is for Gilas to score the upset against the 10th-ranked team in the world in their home floor in Melbourne.
“Australia is really a strong team. So we really have to follow coach’s game plan because we can’t beat them individually. They’re bigger than us and we expect to have a hard time against them, but we need to execute our plays as a team,” he said.